From OHC

December 23, 2020

The holidays are a time of joy, but they can also be a time of stress with exceptionally long “To Do” lists even if you’re planning to “gather digitally.” Instead of taking the time to relax and enjoy the holidays, many Americans instead wonder if they can simply survive.

And if you have a diagnosis of cancer, the holidays take on an entirely different meaning. Cancer and cancer treatments can zap your energy, decrease your appetite, and affect your emotional health so you don’t feel as festive as years past.

Plus, friends and family may assume you can do what you have always done, while others may assume the disease limits you from doing anything. As a cancer patient, you know the truth lies somewhere in the middle, because both your stamina and mood can vary day by day.

But, the good news is there are things you can do to ensure that both you and your loved ones enjoy the holidays and remain focused on your #1 priority – getting well.

  • Limit your “To Do” list and delegate more. Give yourself permission to lean into family and friends for support. When people ask if there is any way they can help you, assign them tasks. You will be making them feel good and at the same time you will be reducing your overall stress.
  • Be candid with friends and family about how you are feeling. Tell people it has been a tough year and this holiday you aren’t going to be able to do what you normally would do. Friends and family will understand.
  • Have a nutritional strategy. Cookies, candy, alcohol and snacks are tempting during the holiday season. However, your body needs healthy foods to help you feel better and stay stronger. You also need to stay hydrated by drinking water rather than alcohol. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the occasional indulgence.
  • Get quality rest. Get quality relaxation and rest so both your body and mind can heal, and you’ll feel refreshed. If you are not getting enough sleep, there is a possibility your path to recovery may be longer.
  • Strictly follow safety guidelines to reduce your risk of infection. This holiday season, in addition to influenza you have the risk of contracting the COVID-19. Be diligent in following the CDC guidelines. Wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer, wear a mask to protect yourself, and insist others do the same around you. Make sure your loved ones get a flu shot, social distance, and watch out for fever and any sign or symptoms of an infection.

The doctors and staff at OHC are committed to helping you beat cancer. We also want you to enjoy the holiday season. We hope the above tips will help you survive the holidays, but if you need emotional or social support, reach out to family or friends, speak with your OHC doctor or team member, or visit our Community Support Resources page for more resources specifically for cancer patients.

OHC (Oncology Hematology Care), the region’s leading experts in the treatment of nearly every form of adult cancer and complex blood disorders, has been fighting cancer on the front lines for more than 35 years. OHC offers the latest medical, gynecologic and radiation therapy, and is always seeking better treatment options through its nationally recognized clinical trials program. OHC is the only independent adult cancer practice to offer the ground-breaking CAR T-cell therapy for adults. For more information about OHC, or for a second opinion, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

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